Peter’s Principles on Resistance Training

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

While nutrition is paramount in achieving an ideal body composition, exercise is every bit as important in helping you reach and maintain your goals. When designing an exercise program, there are three components that need to be addressed: cardiovascular exercise, resistance training and stretching. No fitness program is complete without all of these vital parts.

In this edition of Let’s Get Physical, Get in the Game looks at anaerobic, weight or resistance training.

Resistance Training

Muscle is the thermostat that controls your metabolism. The more lean tissue you have, the more calories you burn in a day. The best way to build muscle is through regular resistance training. This can include free weights, machines, elastic tubing or even manual resistance. Because they are fairly inexpensive, readily available and easy to use, we chose to demonstrate with free weights such as dumbbells.

The Routine

Try to do two to three sets of 10-15 repetitions (reps) per exercise for the upper body and two to three sets of 15-20 repetitions for the lower body. For larger muscle groups like the chest, back and legs you should do two to three different exercises per workout. For smaller muscle groups like the shoulders, biceps and triceps you can do one to two exercises per workout.

Achieving Success

Don’t be afraid to increase the weight you are using. Once you can perform all of the reps in a given set with good form, raise the weight. However, don’t increase the number of repetitions beyond what is listed in our examples shown here. This will increase endurance, but not help in building lean muscle tissue and boosting metabolism. Don’t worry; you won’t build big muscles just by lifting heavier weights.

One word of caution—if you are just starting out, make sure not to overdo it! Remember, the key to any new workout program is to start off easy, and in no time, you will see fabulous results.

CHEST

Incline Dumbbell Press

Using a bench, set to a 45 degree angle, lay down so your head and back are supported. Grasp the dumbbells so they are slightly wider than shoulder width . Your upper arm should be almost perpendicular to your body. Extend the arms and press the weights straight towards the ceiling. Stop just short of locking your elbows. Lower the weights at a controlled pace and repeat for 10-15 repetitions. This exercise is great for the upper part of the chest, the triceps and the front of the shoulder. For variety, you can set the bench to a flat position.

3 Sets; 10-15 Reps

BACK

Arm Dumbbell Rows

Position yourself so your left knee and left hand are on the bench. Holding a dumbbell in your right hand with your right foot on the floor to keep you stable, position yourself so your shoulders are back and squared to the floor. Lower the weight towards the floor while keeping your shoulder square. Raise the weight back to the starting position while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Switch to the right hand and knee on the bench to work the left side. This is great for the upper back, rear shoulders and biceps.

3 Sets; 10-15 Reps

TRICEPS

Laying Dumbbell Extensions

Stand with your left foot forward and your right foot back. Bend forward at the waist and rest your left hand on your left knee. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and raise your elbow so your upper arm is close to parallel to the floor. Extend your lower arm so the weight rises towards the ceiling. Do 10-15 reps and repeat on the left side. This works the triceps.

2 Sets; 10-15 Reps

BICEPS

Dumbbell Preacher Curls

Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your side. Bend at the elbow and bring your hand up towards your chest. Lower slowly and repeat 10-15 reps per side. This works the biceps.

2 Sets; 10-15 Reps

SHOULDERS

Side Laterals Shoulders

Stand with knees slightly bent, dumbbells hanging at your sides. Bring dumbbells up to shoulder height, no higher or you can pinch a nerve. Blow out on exertion on the way up; this is the hardest part of the exercise. Then slowly bring them back to starting position at sides. Do this 10 reps, for 2 sets. This will tone and strengthen your delts and shoulders.

2 Sets; 10-15 Reps

LEGS

Lunges – Legs

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells in your hands. Step forward with your right leg and bend at the knee until the upper leg is parallel to the floor. The knee should form a 90 degree angle. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. This works the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.

3 Sets; 15-20 Reps

Exercise is a physical activity that has potential physical risk. Peter Nielsen, his staff, Get In The Game magazine and all their affiliates are not responsible for an injury that could occur from exercise.

NOTE: Before starting any exercise program, you should first consult with your doctor. Peter Nielsen is providing exercise, nutritional, motivational and educational materials to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is a physical activity that has potential physical risk. Peter Nielsen, his staff, Get In The Game magazine and all their affiliates are not responsible for an injury that could occur from exercise.

All materials © P.N. Enterprises, 2009. All rights reserved.

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